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Teaching Songs from the Civil Rights Movement in Namibia

English Language Fellow, Rebekah Ewing taught a class about the American Civil Rights Movement and the ways music played a role in influencing art and social justice to San students in Windhoek, Namibia. The San community is an indigenous people of southern Africa and a marginalized group in Namibia. Throughout the semester, students have been learning about the ways that art and social justice go hand in hand and have been encouraged to relate class discussion to their own personal experiences.

During this class on music and the American Civil Rights Movement, students discussed quotations from famous African Americans and the importance of education as it relates to social justice. Students then learned lyrics to songs by Billie Holiday, Sam Cooke, Pete Seeger, Nina Simone, and read some of Langston Hughes’ poetry as well. Students enjoyed listened to songs from the Civil Rights Movement, sang along, and even danced too.

Students have also produced their own art throughout the semester, creating drawings, short dramas, and poetry. In the final week of the class, students will share their art, read their poetry aloud and/or perform a song.

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This is a program of the U.S. Department of State, administered by Georgetown University, Center for Intercultural Education and Development.

All decisions related to participant terms (including candidate review, selection, funding, suspension, revocation, and termination) and all criteria related thereto are made and established by the U.S. Department of State.